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Mc Laughlin Group

News/Business. (2013) New.

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PBS

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00:30:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 19 (153 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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720

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

U.s. 14, United States 8, John 6, U.n. 6, Panetta 4, Afghanistan 4, Pentagon 4, Washington 3, Cia 2, Leon Panetta 2, Icc 2, John Brennan 2, Mccain 2, Yemen 2, Us 2, Pakistan 2, Africa 2, Eleanor 2, Siemens 2, Ryan 2,
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  PBS    Mc Laughlin Group    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    February 9, 2013
    12:30 - 1:00pm PST  

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from washington, the "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. >> "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by siemens. ilities, cities, to
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last. siemens. answers. issue one. drone on. >> drones are uavs. unmanned aerial vehicles. aircraft that are operated remotely from nearby or from thousands of miles away, like the distance between the nation of afghanistan and the air force base in the u.s. state of
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nevada. drones come in various shapes, sizes and weights. they are used for surveillance, disablement, and killing. and drones are increasingly ubiquitous. there are 64 drone bases spread across the united states alone, and the u.s. has other drone installations across the planet. africa is increasingly a drone base environment. a newly authorized site in the nation of niger will become the sixth u.s. drone base in africa, joining one in morocco, senegal, uganda, and a permanent one in djibouti. u.s. drone attacks ordered by obama have spiked particularly in yemen, somalia, afghanistan, and notably pakistan where over 360 drone strikes over the nine years, 2004 to 2013, have killed over 3,000 people. this data is not classified. and not even secret. but it is troubling.
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so troubling that the u.n. has just decided to launch an investigation on the impacts of drone strikes on thousands of civilians. question. will the u.n. human rights council rule that drone use violates international law do you think, pat buchanan? >> i don't think they l. if they do, john, it doesn't make any difference. but we really ought to be concerned about these drones. they're a tremendously effective weapon. they save our pilots and the rest of it. but the collateral damage, the killing of civilians, the killing of children, the tremendous alienation they've increased all over this region has resulted in al-qaida frankly getting a tremendous number of new recruits. are we recruiting more enemies than we're killing? that's the key question when you look to see how al-qaida is no longer just in afghanistan but six or seven other countries, because al-qaida is expanding. are we winning the war is the question, john. >> well, with drones, you don't
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see boots on the ground, and they're not easy to count, and the question is good. there's kind of a concealment of the other facts that go with our protection. eleanor. >> first of all, drones are here to stay. they are the 21st century modern tool of war. and in many ways they are a blessing. much better than bombers because they can be more effective in targeted raining bombs down. with an enemy that is harbored in various places, in countries where we are not at war with the country, it's the only way you can really get at them short vine vading that country, which we did discover that it isn't so hot. so i would say they are a blessing. but they bring all sorts of ethical and moral concerns, and there should be some sort of judicial review and the program that's -- that appears to be
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the most troubling is the one run by the cia, and that's the one that's been targeting afghanistan. >> right. >> and pakistan. >> the administration claims that these are only used for high-value targets who are an imminent threat. we don't know if that's true because there's no oversight but we do know they've killed thousands and thousands of people. now, what kind of an organization has thousands and thousands of senior level people? in fact, the research into it says only about 2% of the people that were killed were senior level members of al could i darks and more than 1,000 civilians have died as a result of this. >> what are your impressions, mort? >> ly well, i think it is the only possible solution we have to some of the problems we're facing. it is not was just saying. we don't have too many options here to go into occurrence where there are a lot of problems in terms of tear whriefts are willing to go after the united states. it's the only way we can keep them on the run and we have been efenter noble law.
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what about the u.s. constitution? >> thursday at his confirmation hearing before the senate intelligence committee, cia director nominee john brennan answered blunt questions on the u.s.'s drone attack authority. a confidential memo detailing the justice department's legal reasoning for killing american citizens with drones was released this week. >> any american who joins al- qaida will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states and hat killed thousands upon thousands of individuals, many, many of them who are americans. so i think any american who did that should know well that they, in fact, are part of an enemy against us and that united states will do everything possible to destroy that enemy to save american lives. >> what's the troubling aspect of the justice department's reasoning concerning the use of drones against u.s. citizens? >> i'll tell you, john, the
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troubling aspect is this. look, if an individual joins al- qaida, and they're planning a bomb or involved in an attack on americans, look, he's fair game, he's an enemy combatant. but what the justice department said is look, high-ranking u.s. officials can pick out ranking operatives of al-qaida who represent an imminent danger, and we killed one guy in yemen, this al-waki fellow, who was a propagandist. he was an american citizen. this is so loose and so nebulous the president is basically claiming a right to execute americans on foreign soil, and -- hold it, eleanor. we ought to define this a little bit closer. >> there's a 20-second time limit, pat. >> and i know you never have, eleanor. >> eleanor. >> if pat wants to go and defend this gentleman, you are welcome to it. he was involved with the planning of the christmas bombing which would have exploded a plane over detroit
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as he was going forward. he was involved in the bomb that was planted in times square. i mean, i think that there was sufficient evidence there, and because you are a u.s. citizen, you don't get to hide behind your passport when you are plotting attacks against this country on behalf of a declared enemy of this country. now, granted, i think there should be some judicial review, and i think that's where we are going come to out here. because the u.n. council is looking at this, it is all the more reason that this president should get out there, and he calls it an architecture for how to handle these attacks. but, yes, we do need more transparency, we need more oversight, we need all of that. but basically what's going on is a positive thing for security. >> let's hear from the veteran senisenator from oregon. widely respected. had this to say about drones. >> it's the idea of giving any president unfettered power to
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kill an american without checks and balances that's so troubling. every american has the right to know when their government believes it is allowed to kill them. >> holder is asserting, by the way, in the memo, that the supreme court cannot stop the president from ordering drone strikes. the memo asserts that the judiciary has no jurisdiction to overturn the president's power to order drone attacks on a u.s. citizen deemed an imminent threat because this is a unitary power. what do you think of that? >> that's crazy. if it's true that he was involved, then present your evidence in a court, indict the fellow, at least indict him before you go out and kill him. two weeks after they killed the father, they killed his son, his 16-year-old son, in a completely separate strike. nobody accused his son of being involved in any terrorist activity. he hadn't seen his father in two years. he was outlooking for his father when he was killed by a
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cron strike, along with another boy. >> do you remember, john, you authored some thoughts on this to g.w. bush. they say that the people in the white house today make john wu look like a boy scout compared to the authority that's given the president and the invisibility of him. >> i have to say we are facing unique kind of threat. this is not something you can treat casually. with all due respect, we have got to find some way to defend ourselves. this is the role of the president of the united states and the executive branch of the ?ierksdz and i do think this is absolutely appropriate within the power of the president and should be that way. >> mort, let me ask you, there are apparently no limits. can we strike people in uzbekistan? how about western china? can we strike people anywhere in africa? where can he strike and who can he strike and who decides? >> this is why you have a presidency. >> well, you've got a congress, too, which has war power.
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>> but the national security of the country is basically in the hands of the presidency. >> he can go where he wants and kill whom he wants. >> there are restraints. >> we're going to be debating -- >> in the pentagon and the cia. >> i mean, his little deputies are over there telling him what he can and can't do? >> this is going to be an ongoing debate in this program, there's no question about it. this is a whole new world. exit question. the united nations human rights council is now examining drone strikes. if some or all of anti- terrorist drone use is found to constitute war crimes, and the u.n. rules the matter to the icc, which is the u.n.'s international criminal court, will president obama be able to travel overseas for the rest of his life without fearing ending up in the icc docket? >> you shoe tell the icc to mind its own business but we should have the congress of the united states and the leaders of the united states debate this issue and set rules of
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engagement we can all agree upon and follow. >> point is well taken. stop trying to sweep this under the rug. >> let's put it up-front. >> eleanor. >> these are valid questions, and they were debated in the hearing for the confirmation of john brennan this week. it is how a democracy should work. nice that we're fighting about it, but the drone program is here to stay, and i don't believe that the u.n. is going to raise questions about invading the sovereignty of other countries. but they don't have any power to stop this and we're not going to be the only country who has drones. this is the warfare of the 21st century. >> ryan what do you think? >> if he does have trouble traveling, he could take advice from some other past secretaries of state and other folks who decide not to go to certain countries where they might get arrested, and i think it will depend on the political climate over the next 20 years. if these are, you know, the weapons of the future, and the world decides that this is how
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we want to fight war, with robots, you know, firing arbitrary death out of the sky, then he will probably be okay. i think we will live to regret this, though. >> robotic warfare what. do you think of that mort? >> i don't think we'll live to regret it. i think we would regret it if we didn't do something about it and we were attacked. then we would say, where the heck were we when we could have done something about it? this is the role, as i say, of the executive branch. it's a different kind of warfare. you can't have all kinds of judicial processes in which all this material comes out and you end up losing whatever advantage you had. >> after you secret court, yes. >> we have a drone base in saudi arabia, okay, we just found out. now, why did osama bin laden declare war on the united states? he said the americans were on the sacred soil of saudi arabia in the land of mecca and medinah. that's why he declared war. it is insane to put a drone base in there and antagonize
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1.5 million muslims. >> they have issue two. defense downsize. >> if these cuts happen, there will be a serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness. >> leon panetta is leaving his job as secretary of defense. in an impassioned address this week, secretary panetta warned of the looming budget cuts the pentagon faces due to sequestration. sequestration is washington argot for automatic spending cuts that will slash defense department budget by roughly $42.7 billion this year alone. the cuts are currently scheduled to go into effect on march 1, three weeks away. in his speech, panetta says the pentagon is already preparing itself for the budget axe. one of the most visible signs weeing the reduction from two to one the number of aircraft
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carriers the u.s. operates in the critical persian gulf. >> this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy, and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe. >> question. can the pentagon survive budget cuts or are secretary panetta's worries on the mark? mort zuckerman. >> yes, i think they can survive it. they have a gigantic budget. they have to get their funds spent in the right priority. a lot of people feel we're going to have to cut costs out of virtually every department. we cannot ignore it. everybody comes one a case why we should spend money, and nobody comes one a case why we should raise the money to do it. we have to do something to get our budgets under control because otherwise this whole thing is going to explode.
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>> how does our military compare with mill fares around the world? >> we have about 1 million in the active owe. >> 1.2 million active -- 1.4 active duty, or something. but, john, if panetta is correct, why does the vice president the united states propose a different set of cuts for the same amount of money if it is going to savage the defense budget? he has not come forward with. that clearly this is a meat axe approach. it's not the right approach, but frankly it's the only way the republicans are going to get any cuts. and there's going to be a sequestration if the president doesn't come forward with his own different cuts. >> where does the saved $85 billion finally end up? >> the saved -- well, they've made the deal that they have to cut a certain amount. >> where did the money go? >> the money supposedly is going to reduce the deficit. but the problem is, the sequestration is indiscriminate. if you let leon panetta do those cuss and figure out where they should come from and did it with a scalpel that would be
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fine. but i think the defense department can handle this. the president is not going to come up with cuts and programs that he wants if the republicans don't say what they want. whether they want it to be the virgin birth of spending cuts. >> ryan, you and i know that the 95 billion goes back in the private sector. what happens to it then? then it becomes much more lucrative than 85 billion because it's reinvested. where? in private enterprise, correct? >> it doesn't necessarily go back into the private sector. it van issues. >> how does that happen? >> they don't borrow. >> it's not being borrowed. >> but if it's still -- if it's no longer borrowed, and in the private sector where it is functioning under the rules of -- >> sitting in the banks. >> and the program matt sound capitalism. issue three. gop soul search. >> we believe very strongly obviously in things like fiscal discipline and not spending money you don't have. we also believe in that because
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it helps people. in the same way we've got to address the plight of so many working americans right now and those who don't have any work and say that, yes, we've got policies that will help you. >> eric cantor, house majority leader, is the number two ranking republican in the house. speaker john boehner being number one. majority leader cantor made a major appeal to his party this week. namely, republicans revamp. three months ago the gop failed to win the white house with mitt romney as its candidate. the party also lost seats in the senate and in the house. one reason, the u.s. fiscal woes. debt and deficits. they were drums pounded hard by republicans during the 2012 election. on tuesday in an address at the american enterprise institute in washington, majority leader cantor declared that while these economic issues are crucial, republicans ought to have widened the lens beyond
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economics, finance, ports, et cetera. >> i would like to focus really on what lies beyond the fiscal debate. i mean, let's face it. it's gotten a lot tougher to raise a family in america. and our goal has got to be to eliminate this doubt gripping our nation's families, and to restore their hope and confidence. >> cantor cites gop proposals that will boost charter schools, expand visas highly skilled workers, create flextime for workers, and medical research. question. did the gop lose the presidential election because of its stance on fiscal issues, mort sirk man? >> no, i don't think that's why. they lost the election because they were out of touch with a large portion of the american public, particularly the minority communities but also the people who are hurting. they didn't have any kind of program that dealt with those issues. what he is trying to do is to move the republican party, if i may say so from the hard right
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to the center. at least to the center right. and i think he had a lot vicious in that speech in which he made very constructive and very progressive statements, and i think he is heading the right way if the republicans ever want to get back in power. >> cantor wants to focus hard on education. that's his theme. would you not agree? >> education is terrific. healthcare, education. he checked off a lot of democratic priorities. >> if you close your eyes -- >> let pat in. >> he has an excellent point. republican party is getting to be a green eye shade party. budget deficits, debt, the tax collector for the welfare state. it should have a whole panoply of issues. that part i agree with eric cantor on. >> i was in the front row listening to that speech. if i closed my eyes and didn't know who was standing behind that podium i would have thought it was barack obama. he came out for all sorts of progressive things. but he doesn't attach any legislation to the. he is just trying to change the surges and he has the slogan,
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making life work for more people. but, you know, he's a politician. he's supposed to be making government work. he acts like a life coach. >> eleanor, if it had been barack obama, you would have supported everything he said. >> i issue four. immigration reform. >> it's no secret that there are more than 11 million people here illegallily, many of whom have become part of the fabric of our country. they, like us, have families and dreams. while we are a nation that allows anyone to start anew, we are also a nation of laws, and that's what makes tackling the issue of immigration reform so difficult. a good place to start is with the kids. one of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. and it is time to provide an opportunity for legal residents
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and citizenship for those who are brought to this country as children and who know no other home. it's the right thing to do for our families, security, and for our economy. >> question is majority leader eric cantor, now the highest ranking republican leader to endorse a path to legal residency for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the u.s.? >> that's not what he said, john. he just said that he sim pa that i seed with the dreamers who were the children who were brought here by their parents through no fault of their own and to give them some legal residency. he didn't come out for a path to citizenship, and that is the sticking point. it's hard for me to think that house republicans would go along with that but i do think they're going to get some sort of immigration reform. they are going to bring some sense to this system. pat won't be able to stand it, but it's going to happen. >> before pat does that, for your information, i was talking about an implicit endorsement.
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the whole context of the speech carries that implicit endorsement. >> but you are wrong, john. the highest ranking ones, mccain, lindsey gram, probably jeb bush, but the point is this is not going to get through because this piece of legislation is going to be broken up and voted on in pieces in the house committee, and the republican house is going to kill amnesty and a path to citizenship before it gets to the floor. >> but they may allow some sort of legalizing and permanent residency of people in this country, and that welcome back a huge step forward. >> 40% of the responders in a rutgers poll blame illegal immigrants for take u.s. jobs. is immigration necessarily a wing issue for the gop do you think, ryan? >> it's a wing issue with regards to their base, but we've seen that just focusing on their base isn't going to make them a competitive national party. if you are satisfying them here, then you are alienating latinos who went 70% plus for
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democrats. >> is it a corrosive wedge issue that simply won't go away? >> the issue won't go away unless the republicans find a way to come to terms with it. they lost a huge portion, the republicans lost a huge portion of the minority communities in this last election, and these communities are growing at a rapid rate. and if the republicans don't come one an effective policy, they are going to be shut out of national politics for a long time. >> this is a huge step that cantor took, because he is a house republican. the senate republicans that you mentioned, mccain and lindsey graham and a couple of others, it's easier for them. but the house republicans are really united against any kind of serious immigration reform. >> it is going to start building what they call the patriot immigration movement. it is going to build and make it a hellish price for any republican to come out for amnesty. it happened in 2007. that had all tess establishment support, and they took that thing down, did and i think they are going to be able to do it again. >> is it amnesty if they pay fines, they learn english, they
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get to the back of a long line, and they're taking care of our children and mowing our lawns and contributing to the system? it's not amnesty. >> fur legal, and you can become a citizen. >> what fights the endorsement of cantor within the american people today? they feel that these immigrants are taking their jobs. that's what is at issue, correct? >> it's not only that. it's the sovereignty issue, a border issue, the security predictions. pat. >> the next round of gallup poles and major polls will show barack obama sinking back toward 50% or below. >> eleanor. >> dream on, pat. republican gophers john caseic and i guess it's rich snyder in michigan and ohio are leading the way in accepting the medicaid extension plan and opposition to the obama healthcare plan will melt away.
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>> ryan. >> magee hassan jump into the new hampshire senate race and knocks off kelly iott. >> what do you think about all those women winning those races? we're going to talk about that next week. mort. >> the united states and the european market are going to work out a free trade zone that will change the world's economy. >> i predict president obama's approval rate willing break 60% in an upward climb by
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